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The Baby Killer – Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup (Patent medicine in Queensland)

Browse through Queensland newspapers from the mid-1880s until the early part of the 20th century, you will discover they are filled with advertisements for elixirs, tonics, ointments and powders curing everything from rheumatism to baldness to cancer. Show More Summary

Labour Day – History in Pictures

Labour Day returns to May this year after a short lived relocation to October. Labour Day has been an official Queensland public holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in May, since 1912 and before that as Eight Hours Day since 1901. Before its official recognition as a public holiday, parades and celebrations had taken place... Read more

Old Museum Building – 125th anniversary

The Old Museum Building situated in the inner-city suburb of Bowen Hills in Brisbane has enjoyed an eventful history since it was built in 1891. It initially served as the Exhibition Building, replacing the previous structure which was destroyed by fire in 1888. The laying of the foundation stone ceremony took place at the site on... Read more

Coaching in Australia : a history of the coaching firm of Cobb and Co. (Digitised @ SLQ)

In October 1939, William Lees, historical writer and proprietor and editor of the Queensland Pastoral Gazette, died at his home in Yeerongpilly, ironically whilst reading a newspaper. Lees had a keen interest in history, was a member of the Queensland Historical Society, and had travelled extensively throughout the state. During his career he wrote a... Read more

The New Shorncliffe Pier

March 25, 2016 saw the re-opening of the new Shorncliffe Pier, formally known as the Sandgate Pier. It was originally designed by architect F.D.G. Stanley and built by the Sandgate Pier Company in 1882. The pier is well known and used throughout the local community and is popular with residents and visitors to Brisbane. It... Read more

Rose Hill Estate, Rosalie [Bardon], 1914 (Map of the Week)

State Library of Queensland has an extensive collection of historical maps of Queensland, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online. This Brisbane real estate map from 1914 is advertising 66 allotments of land for sale at the Rose Hill Estate, Rosalie, which is now part of the suburb of Bardon. The allotments... Read more

Shakespeare Fans

This is the Brisbane Shakespeare Society, dressed up for a production of Henry V at the Exhibition Building on 23 April 1918. Queenslanders at the time seemed to be equal fans of Shakespeare and Edward, the Prince of Wales. In 1920, to honor a visit by the Prince, they went all out with a Shakespeare... Read more

Prince goes clubbing in Brisbane, 1992

In early April 1992 (24 years before his death), acclaimed American pop idol, Prince began the Australian leg of his Diamonds and Pearls tour in Brisbane with two concerts at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on the 13th and 14th. It was his first tour of Australia. Tickets for his first and initially only concert sold... Read more

Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton, Electricity Pioneer

Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton (1857-1942) is hardly a household name in Queensland, however as a pioneer of electricity supply his contribution to the development and modernisation of the state is unquestionable. Born in Toorak, Victoria,...Show More Summary

James Trackson’s tracks : Queensland’s first motorist

On 25 October 1937 Brisbane newspaper The Telegraph published a tribute to one of the city’s most prominent citizens on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Eighty years old to-day and still hale and hearty, Mr. James Trackson, of Sedgley Grange, Newmarket, looks back on a life filled with usefulness which has been marked by... Read more

Cooper’s Plains, Homebush Estate, 1886 (Map of the Week)

State Library of Queensland has an extensive collection of historical maps of Queensland, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online. This real estate map from 1886 is advertising 119 allotments of land for sale at the Homebush Estate in the Brisbane suburb of Cooper’s Plains. According to the map the allotments were situated... Read more

Anzac Day Today

This year marks one hundred years since the first Anzac Day Commemoration was held. Queensland’s Canon David John Garland, known as the ‘architect’ of Anzac Day, created the framework for Anzac Day services, which includes the Anzac Day march, wreath-laying ceremonies, church services, and the one minute’s silence. To mark the centenary of the First... Read more

The Adventures of Bill Yaxley?

Brisbane art dealer Bruce Heiser with artist Bill Yaxley at the opening of The Adventures of Bill Yaxley at the Rockhampton Art Gallery on Saturday 9 April. They are standing in front of Yaxley’s painting ” Dusk” from his series “Northern Odyssey”. This work is in the collection of the John Oxley Library, State Library... Read more

A library in darkness (Chronicles of State Library of Queensland)

At the turn of the twentieth century, the issue of evening opening hours at State Library of Queensland (formerly Public Library of Queensland) was one that vexed regular patrons. This can be evidenced by letters of complaint sent to local Brisbane newspapers at the time about the inequity of access and discrimination of the working classes.... Read more

Strand Theatre, Toowoomba (100th anniversary)

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Strand Theatre, located on Margaret Street in Toowoomba. The building was designed by Brisbane architect George Henry Male Addison for James Patrick Newman, a Toowoomba City alderman and owner of the adjoining Crown Hotel. The Strand’s third floor was actually used as accommodation for the... Read more

Queensland Places – Goode Island

Goode Island, located between Cape York and New Guinea and close to Thursday Island, is said to have been named by Captain Matthew Flinders, whilst travelling through the region.  The name is said to have been bestowed in honour of his gardener/botanist on the voyage, a Peter Good.  Over time, the present spelling of Goode... Read more

Newmarket, Erneton Estate, 1904 (Map of the Week)

State Library of Queensland has an extensive collection of historical maps of Queensland, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online. This real estate map from 1904 is advertising 206 allotments of land for sale at the Erneton Estate in the Brisbane suburb of Newmarket. The allotments were situated along Erneton Street, Terrace... Read more


Some months back local Lota author Cherrie Nicholson realised she had a problem. Cherrie is the author of three books Lota – through local eyes : stories of a little-known Brisbane suburb and the people who call Lota home, White wings on Waterloo Bay : a history of local sailing clubs in the 20th century... Read more

90th anniversary – O’Reilly’s Guest House

O’Reilly’s Guest House (now known as O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat) in Lamington National Park opened for business Easter 1926. In 1911, eight men of the O’Reilly family from the Blue Mountains district selected 100 acres of land to create a diary farm. Show More Summary

Sir Manuel Hornibrook – Father of the Australian Building industry

Guest blogger: Julie Hornibrook – 2015 Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellow The trilogy of Building Bridges Connects Brisbane has highlighted huge infrastructure projects in 1930’s Brisbane, built by Hornibrook contractors and driven by Manuel Hornibrook (‘MR’). Show More Summary

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